The FTC Reminds Consumers that There Is No Such Thing as a Panacea

  • The FTC reached a settlement with marketing company Health Center, Inc. and its owner (collectively “HCI”) to resolve allegations that HCI used deceptive advertising claims about “cure-all” health and wellness products in violation of the FTC Act.
  • The FTC’s complaint alleged that HCI used misleading marketing, including fake consumer testimonials, to sell three products online and through telemarketing calls with claims that the products could treat or cure a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis, without any scientific evidence to back up these claims. The complaint also alleges that one of the products was advertised as containing human growth hormone when in reality it contained pig growth hormone.
  • Under the terms of the proposed stipulated order, HCI is enjoined from engaging in deceptive marketing practices and is subject to an $8.62 million judgment, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $5,000. Because the suspension is expressly premised on the accuracy of HCI’s proffered financial statements, if HCI is later found to have misrepresented its financial condition, the full judgment will immediately become due.